Page 1


“The Number 1 HBCU Newspaper” According to the Black College Communication Association


Monday, January 10, 2011


Vol. 112 Issue 27

Rickards receives an ‘A’

AP Photo

TUCSON, Arizona — Six people were killed and several others wounded by a crazed gunman in Arizona on Saturday. Among the wounded, Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, 40, was shot in the head. The gunman, 22-yearold Jared Laugher, is described by a former classmate as a potsmoking loner who had rambling beliefs about the world. SOURCE: ASSOCIATED PRESS

INTERNATIONAL JUBA, Sudan — A new African nation was formed on Sunday as voters in Southern Sudan acted to secede from war-torn Sudan. Southern Sudan will be home to Sudan’s large Sub-Saharan African population. The new country’s sovereignty will not be officially recognized until July. It is estimated that 8.7 million people reside in the southern region of Sudan. SOURCE: ASSOCIATED PRESS

LOCAL A Florida State student was killed in an accidental shooting in Heritage Grove Apartments on Ocala Road. Authorities say 20-year-old Ashley Cowie suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the chest, when a rifle owned by 20-year-old Evan Wilhelm accidentally discharged. Wilhelm was booked in the Leon County Jail on charges of manslaughter. SOURCE: TALGOV.COM


52 38 Tuesday

59 28 Wednesday

51 23

Keenan Doanes The Famuan For the first time in its history, James S. Rickards High School earned a grade of “A” from the Florida Department of Education.

KHRISTANDA COOPER STAFF EDITOR The release of school grades by the Florida Department of Education revealed that schools on Tallahassee’s south side are making improvements. Among those making gains were BondWesson Elementary, Fairview Middle School and Rickards High School, which all saw an improvement in their school letter grades. Rickards High School, the lone public high

school on Tallahassee’s south side, made notable gains and achieved a grade of “A” on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) in December. “It was a group effort between teachers, students and parents who all wanted to do better than last year,” said school principal Michelle Gayle in a phone interview. The Florida Department of Education generates school grades based on a number of factors. Before the 2008-09 school year, the FLDOE based school grades

primarily on student performance on the standardized test, otherwise known as the Sunshine State Standards. These benchmarks changed with the passage of Senate Bill 1908 during the 2008 legislative session. The New Generation Sunshine State Standards, which will take full affect in Decemeber, takes into account a school’s graduation rate, performance on Advanced RICKARDS 3

Restructuring talks begin MATTHEW RICHARSON & CLARECE POLKE STAFF EDITORS Within the Al Lawson Multipurpose Center, students, teachers and university officials gathered to share ideas and discuss the future of the university. With the current and future university budget cuts in mind, Florida A&M Provost Cynthia HughesHarris has assembled a reorganizational task force to review the effectiveness of how

academic units are organized. Friday’s meeting in the Al Lawson Center was to develop focus groups so that the provost could collect the suggestions and concerns from both professors and students about the university’s plans for restructure in an effort to cut back on expenses. The meeting was a prelude to an address by President Ammons in Lee Hall at 4 om today. According to Hughes Harris, over $35 million has been cut from


Daune Robin The Famuan

FAMU’s budget and over 50 percent of funds are spent on faculty. “We need to be responsive to the possibility of budget cuts and what we want our

university to be and look like and what we want to be known for,” HughesHarris said. RESTRUCTURE 4

Toxin found in city’s tap water ASHLI DOSS STAFF WRITER

In December, the Environmental Working Group released a report revealing the carcinogen, hexavalent chromium-6, is present in the water systems of 31 U.S. cities, including Tallahassee. According to the EWG, which specializes in environmental research and

advocacy, Tallahassee has the sixth-highest level of chromium-6 out of 31 cities from which drinking water samples were collected. “The agency regularly reevaluates drinking water standards and based on new science on chromium-6, had already begun a rigorous and comprehensive review of its health effects,” said a press release from the

Environmental Protection Agency, released Dec. 21. The agency is expected to release a scientific review for public comment in September and says it plans to work closely with state and local officials to further assess how widespread is the contamination. WATER 3



“The Color Purple: The Musical” hit the stage at the Tallahassee Leon County Civic Center Friday night.

Amin Stevens credits hard work for role change from reserve to team leader in only one year.

Lifestyles |6

iRattler causes schoolwide problems

Sports | 12

Long lines for financial aid, registration problems and override issues are now par for the course at Florida A&M due to the sometimes faulty and overtaxed iRattler system. This semester the iRattler system shut down and no one was able to use it, including students and employees. Students weren’t able to get answers, register for classes, or even know where there classes were located unless they went to the department or wrote down their schedule beforehand. The Division of Enterprise Information Technology is responsible for the implementation, maintenance, and of the iRattler (PeopleSoft) System. Interim Chief Information Officer Michael James said


2 Calendar

The Famuan Monday, January 10, 2011

Events and Announcements Announcements If you are interested in being apart Student Government Association, the SGA Judicial Branch has open positions on the Supreme Court and Traffic Court. Applications are due by Friday Jan. 7 by 5 p.m. Applications and the Student Body Constitution & Statutes can be found on the SGA website, www. For more information contact SGA at 850-599-3624. On Sunday, Jan. 23, at 5 p.m., the English Department of Florida A&M University will host a Retirement Celebration in honor of Dr. Willie T. Williams. The event will take place at the Doubletree Hotel, 101 S. Adams St. Tickets may be purchased online at Payments may also be mailed before Jan. 14, 2011, to Dr. Veronica Yon, Retirement Celebration Co-Chair, Department of English, 446 Tucker Hall, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Fla., 32307-4800.

The Kappa Iota Chapter of Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society will hold an interest meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011, at 4:30 p.m. in the Writing Resource Center (124 Tucker Hall). Membership is open to juniors, seniors, and graduate students. For additional information, please contact Dr. Veronica Yon at 850412-7697 ( or Ms. Krishula Edwards at 334-300-2028 (krishula1.edwards@famu. edu). The FAMU Chapter of the Hip Hop Congress and The Cravings Truck presents “Munchers Delight” Fundrai$er Luncheon on Friday Jan. 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. across from Perry Paige. If you have any questions, contact Athena Griffith at famuhiphopcongress@gmail. com The FAMU Chapter of the Hip Hop Congress will host a General Body Meeting on Wednesday Jan. 19 at 7:00 p.m. in B.L. Perry Room 300. The meeting is opened to all students who have a love for hip-hop. For more information, contact Athena Griffith at

To place an announcement in the Calendar, e-mail your submission to famuancalendar@ at least two days prior to the desired publishing issue. All submissions must include the student organization along with information in paragraph format to include “who, what, when and where.” A contact number to be published with the announcement, indicate so in your e-mailed submission and provide an alternate method for readers to obtain more information. If you do not follow the paragraph format then your submission will not be able to be published.

Employment Bartenders Wanted!!! $250/day potential. No experience necessary. Training provided age 18+ okay. Call (800) 965-6520 ext. 189

“DRUMLINE LIVE” dazzles with explosive choreography and thrilling spectacle … -Showbiz Chicago

January 25 8:00 pm Cast Includes Former FAMU Marching Band Members

Tickets On Sale Now at the Civic Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets and at or Student Discounts Available

Call 222-0400 or 1-800-322-3602

Call (850) 599- 3159 for ad inquiry

Corrections For corrections please email

Monday, January 10, 2011

RICKARDS Placement and International Baccalaureate exams and the completion of career and professional certification programs. Though not in full swing, the new standards were partially implemented during the 2009-2010 school year. “In order for a school to achieve a grade of ‘A’, the school must have an overall score of 1050 on the FCAT, matriculate 75 percent of its at-risk students and ensure that at least 50 percent of students learning math and reading in the bottom 25 percent make adequate progress, ” according to the FLDOE’s Bureau of Research and Evaluation. The FLDOE defines at-risk students as those who scored at or below level-2 on grade 8 FCAT Reading and Writing examinations. “Improvements in the bottom 25 percent were the major factor in the school getting an ‘A,’” said Gayle. The demographic of Rickards is 77 percent black, 15 percent white and 8 percent of other ethnicities, making it the only predominantly

METRO NEWS BRIEFS The Tallahassee Mall will go up for public sale on Jan. 26 at 11 am. The mall, built in 1971 as the city’s second indoor shopping center, has been long-financially troubled. The 100 acres on which the property sits is owned by a local family. The facilities other stakeholders have been tightlipped about the future of the shopping center because of ongoing legal proceedings. The Tallahassee Mall has been on the decline for several decades with the loss of several tenants and some major anchor stores. The most recent and notable of these departures came in 2008 as Dillards left the shopping facility.


Capital Health Plan, the areas largest healthcare provider received top honors from a national committee in December. The National Committee for Quality Assurance evaluated 300 Medicare health plans and ranked 183 of those based on clinical performance, member satisfaction and NCQA accreditation. Capital Health Plan was ranked 1st out of the 183 included in the rankings. NCQA is a private, not-forprofit organization dedicated to improving healthcare quality. In order to be eligible, CHP had to authorize public release their performance information and submit enough statistical data for NCQA to evaluate. Only two other Florida-based Medicare healthcare plans ranked within NCQA’s top 50. SOURCE: NCQA.ORG

News 3


minority high school in the district. A large number of the schools students live at or below the poverty line and nearly 50 percent of them receive free or reduced lunch, according to the FLDOE. Although the school was able to achieve desirable results under the new statewide grading system, its black, economically disadvantaged students need improvement in the areas of reading and math under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. On the whole, Rickards still hasn’t met the Adequate Yearly Progress standards, as mandated in NCLB. The overall graduation rate is about 76 percent, the lowest among high schools in the district. Districts around the state also saw the grades of their constituent schools improve, as nearly 71 percent of high schools statewide achieved a grade of “A” or “B.” The new calculations are thought to better illustrate the performance of a school. KHRISTANDA COOPER Keenan Doanes The Famuan


WATER “The city does conduct rigorous testing of its water supply for compounds like chromium and we are in good standing as far as the chromium levels are concerned,” said Jamie Shakar, Tallahassee’s water quality manager. Tallahassee‘s current level of chromium-6 is 1.25 parts per billion. “The division has not taken the precautionary steps because our annual report shows we are far below the EPA’s requirement,” said Shakar. Although all forms of chromium aren’t considered hazardous, there are certain levels of the element that are harmful and can affect a person’s health if not treated. Among other cities in Florida, Miami ranked 29th on the list. Trivalent chromium (-3) is a harmless nutrient essential for sugar and lipid metabolism in the human body. This differs from hexavalent chromium (-6), a dangerous toxin which, if ingested, can cause long term health problems. Ingesting small amounts of chromium compounds is not harmful. But when consumed in large amounts it causes damage to the kidneys and liver. Mild cases can cause upset stomachs, skin ulcers and convulsions, according the National Institutes of Health. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s maximum contaminant level for total chromium amounts is line with the EPA’s standard of 100 ppb. Neither of the agencies have standard levels in place for chromium-6. EPA chief Lisa Jackson said the agency is already working on regulating chromium-6 levels in the nation’s drinking water. “As a mother, and the head of

EPA, I’m still concerned about the prevalence of chromium-6 in our drinking water,” Jackson said in a December statement to the press. California senator Barbara Boxer, chair of the Senate environmental and public works committee along with fellow Californian lawmaker Dianne Feinstein are pressing the EPA to immediately set a standard for safe levels of chromium-6 in drinking water. Both plan to introduce legislation to ensure standards are in place. “There are no enforceable federal standards to protect the public from hexavalent chromium-6,” Boxer and Feinstein wrote in a letter to Jackson. In reaction to their statement, the EWG cited Anderson, et al v Pacific Gas & Electric; the case in which 370 million gallons of cancer-causing chemicals was dumped into ponds in Hinkley, Calif. The case was popularized by the 2000 biographical film “Erin Brockovich,” starring Julia Roberts. Erin Brocovich, an environmental activist and legal clerk, helped win the largest settlement on record for a civil class action lawsuit. Although this is not the same issue, it is considered to be another case of manmade industrial by-product is improperly disposed in a residential area. Alfred Aleguas, managing director at the Northern Ohio Poison Control Center, hinted during an interview with ABC news the EWG’s reports are alarmist and say harmful levels of chromium-6 in drinking water aren’t quantifiable.


AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Inauguration boosts local economy HAROLD ANDERSON CORRESPONDENT Local leaders and businesses are left with the excitement of an economic stimulus after Florida’s 45th Gubernatorial Inauguration. “The Tallahassee business community definitely saw impacts in their restaurants, shops, and hotels,” said director of communications and marketing, Jordan Jacobs, at the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce. “After a successful football and holiday season, the inauguration was a perfect way to begin the quarter for the year.” “$Two million-$3 million came in as a result of the inauguration,” said Mark A. Bonn, professor in the Dedman School of Hospitality at Florida State. Many of the downtown establishments were welcoming as the influx of Florida dignitaries and citizens patronized their businesses. “Our highest point of service was right before the parade,” said Jared Hineman, manager of Harry’s Seafood Bar and

Grille in Kleman Plaza. “We have always been very grateful for our downtown customers and welcomed those who came to share with us during the inauguration weekend.” Jack Penrod, manager of Andrew’s Capital Grill and Bar, said that business was affected tremendously for all three days of the event. “We began to see the crowd come in on Sunday and with each day they consistently grew,” Penrod said. In addition to the increase of business services, many of the downtown hotels were booked to full capacity, according to Carol Reilly. “A week before the inauguration, the closest hotel was in Thomasville,” said Reilly, a front desk clerk at the Governor’s Inn, located at 209 S. Adams St. in the heart of downtown. Jacobs said she is confident Scott, a former CEO, will understand the importance of keeping local businesses afloat. “We can tell that the business community is excited to have

a CEO in office,” Jacobs said. “Starting as a small business owner himself, Scott knows the importance of the needs and plights of today’s business leaders.” During his address Scott touched on his plan to create 700,000 jobs in seven years. “The Chamber of Commerce wants to work with the governor to reach his 700,000 job goal,” Jacobs said. Aside from the millions pumped into the local economy, $4.5 million generated from the inauguration is expected to fuel the state economy, according to Mark Wilson, CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. The Florida Chamber of Commerce has piggy-backed off the governor through his signature campaign slogan: “Let’s Get to Work.” In response to the governor’s catch phrase, it has coined, “Let’s Work Together” as its theme. HAROLD ANDERSON FAMUAN.METRO@GMAIL.COM

News 4

TheFamuan Monday, January 10, 2011

Gore complex closed for renovations CHARMAINE PETERSON CORRESPONDENT Renovations have begun on the 71, 366-square-foot Gore Education Complex are under way. Faculty and students have been temporarily moved to the old FAMU DRS building while the renovations take place. DAG Architects will be directing the extensive renovations. The planning of the building was done with special attention to complement the direction the university is headed. C.J. Barren, 20, a sophomore education student from St.Petersburg, Fla., said the renovations have been long overdue, but are coming wrong time. “It’s the beginning of the semester and everyone needs help. I think the time they chose to start renovations was horrible,” said Barren. Barren believes the renovations came at a time that is inconvenient to new students. He said if he were a freshman he would have been completely lost because of the last minute move. Gore Education Complex was home to the education program and also the School of General Studies. It was recently decided that the School of General Studies would close on June 30 because the unit does not generate credits. Gore Education Complex is known for its rich history in education. It is the only college, department or major that was part of the university during its inception in 1887. Edith Davis, assistant professor at the College of Education, said she is excited

Sade Hooks The Famuan Biology, physics, and chemistry students moved from the Gore Complex into the newly renovated Jones Hall that opened at the start of the semester. The College of Education will be temporarily housed in the Old FAMU DRS.

about the renovations. “People don’t like change and don’t like inconvenience, but the renovations are definitely needed for the building to be brought into the 21st century,” said Davis. Improvements to the three-building complex will correct life safety, accessibility and security deficiencies, as well as upgrade the classrooms, labs and teaching spaces with state-of-the-art technology and equipment, according planned renovation reports. The roofs and plumbing will be replaced along with the air conditioning and electrical systems.

Davis said she hopes the finished building will be able to rival the recently renovated Tucker Hall that was completed in July. “Hopefully the building will show that FAMU is a progressive university,” Davis said. The Gore Complex was also home to biology, chemistry, and physics departments. They have been temporarily moved to Jones Hall. Tiffany Rivers, 24, a senior biology student from Tampa, Fla., said she does not see the renovations as a problem at all. “It was short notice about the

renovations, but after seeing the new Tucker Hall, I’m excited about the changes,” Rivers said. Both Rivers and Barron agreed the time FAMU chose to begin renovations might have been a little inconvenient, but they also agreed that the renovations are a positive move for the university. “I like the new direction FAMU is headed in… we are able to contend with larger universities and it makes me proud to be a Rattler,” Rivers said. CHARMAINE PETERSON FAMUANNEWS@GMAIL.COM

Interim leader hopes to improve registrar’s office SHARI KARESH CORRESPONDENT Vernese A. Wade is accepting the challenge to step up as the schools interim registrar director. Wade has worked at the university for 22 years. As a veteran employee, Wade is expected to flourish in her new position. Ed Willis, the associate vice president for student affairs, praised Wade’s efforts to connect with students. “She helps students. She has a thorough understanding of the university, which allows her to be in the position to really support and help students work through their issues,” Willis said. Her previous jobs at Florida A&M were resident director of housing, student affairs coordinator for graduation, iRATTLER when the system is most likely to fail “It usually experiences performance challenges during peak periods, usually the beginning of the fall and spring academic semesters.” According to James, the system fails because there are more users accessing the system than the system can handle. “Students can help by taking the appropriate measures to ensure that holds are cleared, academic advisement is sought and that they take full advantage of the early registration period. ” Porsha Graham, a senior at FAMU, waited in line for two days in a row just to get her classes and schedule. “There should be more organization through administration,” she said.

and resident director of Phase 3 and McGuinn Hall and assistant registrar director. This will be her second stint as an interim director. Wade said her former jobs at FAMU have properly prepared her for the temporary position as the registrar director which oversees all student records and pays strict attention to details. “I’ve wear a lot of hats,” Wade said. Some of the registrar director’s duties include registration, graduation, residency changes and grade posting. “We make sure that the records are accurate,” Wade said. Wade intends to be the interim for as long as needed. “If I’m chosen or they feel like I’m qualified, yes, I would like a permanent position,” she said.

“The grand ballroom was slam packed when I went. Standing there for hours and then not getting help is annoying.” Not only does the faulty system affect the students but it affects teachers and faculty. “The faculty and staff experience the same system performance issues that the students do during peak periods. Faculty have difficulties in performing routine duties such as checking their class rosters, recording attendance, removing holds, etc. “The staff had difficulties in performing normal business operation transactions as well,” James said. Rashida Thomas-Wynn, 21, a senior political science student fro Fort Lauderdale, doesn’t believe it’s just the

RESTRUCTURE Hughes-Harris reported that the Division of Academic Affairs, which she heads, is the largest division and that the workforce must be reduced to meet restructuring goals. The university could face more layoffs. Much like the graduate studies program that was cut in the fall, other program might have the same fate. Hughes-Harris said that one way to improve the university is to focus on its strengths. The task force plans to analyze student and faculty input and apply that input where they see fit to strengthen academic programs and passing rates, according to Hughes-Harris. Dean of School of Architecture Rodner Wright shared his organizational analysis. Part of his mission is make sure

Donald E. Palm, a professor and the vice president of academic affairs, said Wade has a wealth of knowledge for the position, and thinks that if she applied, she would have a good chance of filling the position permanently. Wade praised former registrar director Janet Johnson’s work. She said she intends to continue Johnson’s work of making FAMU processes as smooth as possible. “Ms. Johnson did an excellent job. It was her vision that we customize some of our services so that our processes would go smoothly,” Wade said. While Wade and Palm believe that the office is up to par, she said she knows that there is always room for improvement. The online system will be one of the more important targets.

“We are trying to utilize technology a lot more. Hopefully, in the near future, we’ll be able to apply for graduation online, as well as deal with the transcript credits from high school and community colleges,” Palm said. Wade agreed and wants the improvement possibility to come sooner than later. “We are constantly improving. What we need to do is expedite and structure our processes,” Wade said. “ We need to work with the university and its students to correct what’s going wrong. We always talk about doing things, but what we need to do is act on them.” SHARI KARESH FAMUANNEWS@GMAIL.COM

university’s fault . “The fact that students procrastinate to get their classes isn’t the university’s responsibility,” Thomas-Wynn said. “I do think the situation could have been handled better and I would like to see what they are going to do to improve the system.” Improvements are being made by the university and the university’s officials are in negotiations for a new contract for a new hosting program. “We are in the process of ensuring that the new solution will provide optimal performance during peak periods and have the ability to accommodate enrollment growth,” James said. MICHAYLA COX FAMUANNEWS@GMAIL.COM

LaGretta Johnson The Famuan Students waited in line for hours in the grand ballroom to speak with administrators.

that FAMU President James Ammons’ vision is met. “Part of Ammons’ vision is to ensure the faculty’s input,” Wright said. “We’re looking at it in a broad since, not as much as individual.” Hughes-Harris said that the week of January 10, they will gather the responses and plan their next step, but as of now, Ammons will hold a meeting to report to the faculty and students about what he has learned and has planned for the restructuring. Ammons meeting will be held at 4 p.m. today in Lee Hall. For more information on the restructuring plan, visit: www.famu. edu/index.cfm?restructuring.


Daune Robin The Famuan Faculty and students brainstormed ideas on how to manage the school’s budget.

Monday, January 10, 2011


COPY DESK: Julian Kemper

OPINIONS EDITOR: Khristanda Cooper


SPORTS EDITOR: Royal Shepherd

Opinions 5


The continuation of excellence I’ve been with The Famuan since the second week of my freshman year. In truth, it was all rather odd. I was dragged into the newsroom by Wesley Martin after he tried to interview me for a story. I was harassed and challenged by Jaylen Christie from the moment I entered the office and told I would do big things by advisers and other editors. Roughly five semesters later I’m sitting in an office, the Editor in Chief, making guarantees, more to myself than anyone else, that failure is not an option. A lot has changed with The Famuan since I first came around. The layout of the office has changed, editors have come and gone and the paper itself has evolved. Different editors have brought different

He’s our governor so let’s get to Political Cartoon work

things to the table. The one constant in The Famuan is the pursuit perfection. Everything I’ve done, I’ve done in the pursuit of perfection. Every section I’ve worked in I’ve pushed, chasing what others like to call “unattainable.” The pursuit of perfection is what drives most journalists. We check and triple-check names, sources and dates, furious if we have so much as one “t” uncrossed or one “i” without a dot. The Famuan will continue to chase perfection. What I’ve learned in 2½ years here is chasing perfection leads to the best possible results. Demanding a mistake-free paper for the university leads to a polished product everyone, not just the staff, can be proud of.

This is my first semester as Editor in Chief. It is not my first time as someone who must lead. We’ll hit our snags, there will be bumps along the way, but the road this staff will travel is hopefully one that leads to perfection. I invite you to come to the newsroom , see how we work and hopefully work with us. This university always has stories, some positive and some negative, and all of them require reporting. I look forward to chasing and eventually capturing perfection this semester with all of you. Jordan Culver for the Editorial Board.


EDITOR IN CHIEF: Jordan Culver

COPY DESK: Julian Kemper

SCHOOL NEWS EDITOR: Matthew Richardson



Jan. 4, 2011, Florida’s new governor began his inaugural breakfast here on FAMU’s campus at the Al Lawson center. This breakfast stirred up a lot of murmurs amongst FAMU’s current and former students. Many felt as if Gov. Rick Scott’s prayer breakfast should have been held at a location where individuals who shared his views were in more abundance. Others like Allen Thompson Jr., a former student at FAMU, felt that the Al Lawson center was a public venue and anyone who rents it out can and should. Thompson said, “The Rick Scott breakfast will also allow FAMU to receive more media coverage all across Florida in a more positive light.” President Ammons said in an interview, “What a way to start 2011. FAMU stands ready to assist the ScottCaroll administration in its efforts to make Florida a much better place to live and work.” As a FAMU student I see both sides of the issue. To many Rick Scott was not the candidate that most FAMU students voted for nor does he represent the views that most students on campus have. Yet he is still our governor and we at FAMU should feel honored and privileged our new governor hosted his first prayer breakfast on our campus. Rick Scott will be our governor for the next four years we should just accept him and prepare to assist him in any way. Our university president has an open mind and we, as students of a place of higher learning and broader horizons, should as well. By looking at this issue with rose-colored glasses we will never get the full view. We should be celebrating Lt. Gov. Jennifer Caroll, because she is the first black female lieutenant governor, and I feel that triumphs all. Although she is a Republican she has taken dynamic strides to get where she is today. That is something we here at FAMU should commend and praise her for, not overlook. She is leading the way and carving a path for many other minority women to follow in years to come.. Even our beloved university president and others have honored her in various ways. As future productive American citizens we should not concern ourselves with such minute disputes such as whether Rick Scott should hold his breakfast here but rather focus our attention on more serious and demanding issues.



OPINIONS EDITOR: Khristanda Cooper



SPORTS EDITOR: Royal Shepherd


PHOTO EDITOR: Kennan Doanes

Makes you wonder if this is really what Rick Scott wanted to say...

Jeff Parker, Florida Today

What’s so wrong with being a native? TERRIKA MITCHELL COLUMNIST Everyone has their, “I came to FAMU because,” stories. I could exaggerate about why I chose to attend FAMU as oppose to any other college in Florida- I wanted to be surrounded by people who look like me, its journalism program can compete with the best. Blah blah blah, all hail FAMU. But honestly, my decision to come to the Hill had a lot to do with the fact that it’s less than 10 minutes away from my mother’s house. Yes, you guessed it. I’m a local. When I started at FAMU, people’s emphasis on where they were from was slightly overwhelming. When exchanging phone numbers, asking for someone’s area code became a must. Coming to FAMU was almost like leaving Tallahassee. FAMU Homecoming became a week-long event instead of a weekend celebration. A lot of times people knew where you were from without knowing your name. The standard introduction of yourself included your name, major and, of course, your hometown. My normal introduction would be, “My name is Terrika Mitchell and I’m a first-year magazine production student from Tallahassee.” Reactions were priceless. It seemed as if other students stared and whispered

like there was a passion mark on my neck. “My slight lisp must have taken over and made my sentence unclear,” I reasoned. But nope, that wasn’t the case. I became what out-of-towners refer to as “a local,” or even worse, “a loc.” I would get the “Oh, you’re a local?” I was more so offended by the way the question was asked rather than the question itself. I’d ask, “What’s that supposed to mean?” It’s natural for a person to defend his or her hometown. Sure Tallahassee doesn’t sell liquor after 2 a.m., and the closest thing we have to a proteam is Florida State, but I too take a personal pride in my hometown. As I transitioned into the college community, I sometimes felt outnumbered more and more by students from other areas. License plates said Dade, Orange or Broward counties where I used to see Leon; even Georgia residents seemed to have a bigger presence. Even in our own clubs— the Moon, Bajas, pick any one— we still can’t get any love. I constantly endure the rumbling chants of Duval natives and the uncontrolled jukes of South Floridians who are shouted out by the DJ. I consider the city lucky to get recognition during semester breaks when locals are the majority in the nightclub. Initially, I was in disbelief that Tallahassee couldn’t get love in Tallahassee! This was all new to me. It got to the point where I sometimes wished I had some other place to claim as home; somewhere with naturally

grown palm trees or predictable weather or at least two legit shopping malls. I fled town when I could to visit my friends’ hometowns, to shop and to see what I’d allegedly been missing out on. It taught me something. Not only did it expose me to new things I liked, but it also revealed the things I could live without. Somewhere between having to watch my back on a ride through Liberty City and becoming deathly ill from taking part in a heated snowball fight I understood that there was really no place like home. I’m proud that Tallahassee doesn’t have to house the production crew for First 48. When you give it some thought, “locals” are the fortunate ones. I’m one of the few people with an uncle on campus who’ll yell my name clear across Set Friday. Grandma’s collard greens and chicken are always minutes away so holiday travel is optional. And believe it or not, the city still operates when visiting students leave to go home. Now this is not to say that I have plans to stay in Tallahassee forever. In fact, I’m currently making arrangements to leave after I graduate this year, but that is because of my career goals. I will always enjoy coming home to cozy Tallahassee no matter how behind the times it may seem. TERRIKA MITCHELL FAMUANOPINIONS@GMAIL.COM


VISUALEDITOR: Jeffrey Morris




ADVISER: Andrew Skerritt

FAX 850.561.2570 EDITOR IN CHIEF 850.561.2569 SECRETARY 850.599.3159 NEWSROOM 850.599.3011/ 561.2569

The Famuan, an Associated Collegiate Press 2003 Pacemaker Finalist, is published Monday, Wednesday and online only on Friday during the fall and spring semesters. The opinions do not reflect the administration, faculty, or staff of the University. The editorials are the expressed opinions of the staff and columnists. The Famuan is funded partially by activities and services fees.

Do you think Rick Scott should have had his inaguaral breakfast on campus? A) Yes. B) Absolutely not! C) I really don’t care. D) Who is Rick Scott?

Lifestyles 6


Monday, January 10, 2011

‘The Color Purple’ shines

Musical adaptation brings new inspiration to local stage

Scott Suchman The Famuan

“Mysterious Ways” featuring Kadejah Oné (Church Soloist) and Phillip Brandon (Preacher).

TANYA GLOVER STAFF WRITER Red and orange flames engulfed the act curtain inscribed with a desperate heavenly plea: “Dear God, maybe you can give me a sign letting me know what is happening to me.” “The Color Purple” was first a Pulitzer Prizewinning novel and an Academy Award nominated film. Its musical adaptation left the audience breathless on Friday night in the Tallahassee Leon County Civic Center. Set in Georgia between 1909 and 1949, it tells the story of Celie, a black woman who, at the age of 14, was forced into a marriage and life of servitude with an older man. Celie is no stranger to abuse, having bore two children from her biological father. A lifetime of physical and verbal abuse combined with separation from her sister Nettie leaves Celie insecure, lonely and depressed, questioning her very existence. Demetris Isaac, 21, a fourth-year English student from Quincy, Fla., said the live experience of “The Color Purple,” particularly after reading the novel and seeing the movie, was one of the best experiences he has ever had. “I have never experienced so many emotions in one night,” Isaac said. “The actors were great, the singing was wonderful and the humor throughout was hilarious.”

Isaac’s favorite scene was “African Homeland,” in which Celie reads a letter from her sister Nettie, who is now a missionary in Africa. Meanwhile, the ensemble cast danced to African drums in traditional African garments. Colorful backdrops, a spirited score and captivating choreography takes the audience from the church to the juke joint and then across the ocean to the jungles of Africa in just two acts. The audience roared with laughter at classic lines such as, “You told Harpo to beat me,” and “You sho is ugly.” Chelsea Matthews, 23, a graduate of Florida A&M University from Jacksonville, Fla., enjoyed the various cultural insights the show offered. “The play was absolutely awesome,” Matthews said. “It was amazing and breathtaking just to see so many African-American actresses and actors doing so many great things.” Celie’s journey through abuse road, heartacheavenue and a few dead-ends finally lead her on the right path and discover her destiny. Through the triumphant song “I’m Here,” she also finds the beauty and worth in herself as she sings, “Loving who I really am.

I’m beautiful, yes I’m beautiful, and I’m here.” The musical asks the audience to “look what God has done” and in times of doubt, to look at “The Color Purple.” “’The Color Purple’ stage play was definitely worth seeing and amazing,” Isaac said. “I enjoyed it from beginning to end.” For multimedia coverage of the production, including cameo audience responses, visit www.thefamuanline. com. TANYA GLOVER FAMUANLIFESTYLES@GMAIL.COM


Rattler chosen in E! contest KRISTEN SWILLEY STAFF WRITER While most of the country was still planning to drop a few pounds or land that dream job in 2011, one student got a jump start on his New Year’s resolutions. George Burns, 22, was one of five selected for E! Online’s Ciroc the New Year Correspondent contest. The company’s website,, reported that five grand prize winners were chosen based on short videos on why they should become correspondents for the night. They were each treated to the “ultimate New Year’s Eve party” with celebrity guests in tow. Each winner reported from events across the country hosted by Sean “Diddy” Combs, Pete Wentz and actress Taryn Manning. Burns was the only winner to broadcast live from Kourtney Kardashian’s party in Miami alongside regular E! hosts Michael Yo and Christina Gibson. Burns, a fifth-year pharmacy student, was the first to admit that his 42-second video wasn’t anything spectacular. He said he was just being himself and it paid off big time. “I hit main points about being professional, but I think it was my overall charisma that did it. When I got

the email saying that I won I could barely breathe. I could see my heart beating in my chest. They emailed me after the last days for submission, so I really didn’t know what the result would be.” Burns said this contest came at a time when he was looking for an opportunity to break into the field. “Once I found out about the contest I entered without hesitation,” Burns said. “It was crazy because like a week before I said I wanted to do entertainment but I didn’t have any experience with broadcast, no journalism background, and no education in communication. I started with a blank slate. When the opportunity arose, I said, ‘I’m gonna go ahead and do it.” His girlfriend, fourth-year public relations student Monica Morgan, encouraged him to enter the contest despite his lack of experience. She credited his success to his personality and said his win is also a testament to the potential of her peers. “He was just being himself….I think it definitely sparked something in him. He made so many contacts,” said Morgan. “I think it says a lot about Rattlers. FAMU students don’t just do one thing. We’re diverse.” Burns was the only winner from an HBCU. He said his personality helped

secure his spot and his win is an example of the diversity that Florida A&M students display on a regular basis. “We’re intelligent individuals. This says a lot about the caliber of students that we have at Florida A&M. We can compete with any other school. I would just say never let fear determine your potential,” he said. Burns said he doesn’t plan on

making this contest his last time in front of the camera. “It was eye-opening and a chance to be in the arena,” he said. “It was like a two-day internship performing a craft I would really like learn. I can definitely see myself doing this long-term.” KRISTEN SWILLEY FAMUANLIFESTYLES@GMAIL.COM

J. L. Evans The Famuan E! Correspondent George Burns was the only winner from an HBCU.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Lifestyles 7

Boys choir offers chance for growth RANATA HUGHES STAFF WRITER The Tallahassee Boys Choir is a program that reaches out to young men in the community from the ages of 8 to 19 with the motto, “No excuses!” Executive Director and founder, Earle Lee, held the first interest meeting and group rehearsal Aug. 16, 1995, at Rickards High School. “I put up some posters around Rickards asking do you want to join a choir where you would travel to New York etc., and 25 boys came in,” Lee said. The choir did its first performance at the Winter Festival in Tallahassee, and shortly after was invited to sing at the Orange Bowl in Miami, all within four months of its starting date. Today the choir has 87 voices and has reached unimaginable milestones, such as singing for President Barack Obama’s inaugural ball. The group has also sung for the Pope, Oprah Winfrey, former president George W. Bush, Tyler Perry and Bobby Jones. Lee explained that there are no auditions to get into the boys choir and the only requirement is want to change and improve one’s life. “Whosoever will, let him come,” Lee said. The choir recruits every month, but selects three specific months out of the year that are set aside for heavier intake: January, June and August. Lee said there is no cut-off limit to how many boys he will accept into the choir. “I have this fear that some child will come in off the streets of the South-side and ask to join the choir and I say we’re full,

then I turn the TV on at night at 11:00 and see that the child has been killed or killed someone else when I could have saved him,” he said. Lee said the Tallahassee Boys Choir’s mission goes far beyond singing. It’s about helping its members to grow academically, socially and grooming them for well-rounded success. “Being in the choir, I’ve learned discipline, brotherhood and respect,” said 15-yearold baritone vocalist Ka’Ron Brown, who attends Rickards High School and has been in the choir for four years. Brown said most memorable moment with the choir was when they performed at Pres. Obama’s inaugural ball. Gabriel Figgers, 15, also a student at Rickards, said his most memorable moment was singing at Tyler Perry’s studio in Atlanta. Figgers, who has sung for three years, said that once he passes the age limit for the choir, he would like to serve as an intern for the group and help train the younger members. The choir plans to expand globally and will visit Africa for 14 days in July. The next performances scheduled for the Tallahassee Boys Choir are Wednesday and Friday at the Florida State versus Duke basketball games to be held at the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center and covered by ESPN. For more information on this 501C3 non-profit organization, questions about giving donations or joining, check out their website via www. or call (850) 528-2403. RANATA HUGHES FAMUANLIFESTYLES@GMAIL.COM

Lanise Harris The Famuan “No Excuses!” is the motto used by Executive Director and founder of The Tallahassee Boys Choir Earle Lee to teach members personal responsibility and self-respect.

Lanise Harris The Famuan Since 1995, The Tallahassee Boys Choir has reached out to youth from ages 8 to 19.

8 Sports

TheFamuan Monday, January 10, 2011


In his first season as Houston coach, James Dickey wants to restore the program’s winning tradition. “We’ve got a dream here that we want to fill this place up,” Dickey said of Hofheinz Pavilion. “But in order to do that, you’ve got to win big games.” The Cougars took a big step in that direction Saturday by earning their first home win over a ranked opponent since 2005. Sophomore forward Kirk Van Slyke scored 15 of his 17 points in the first 8 minutes as Houston built a big early lead and held off No. 19 Central Florida 76-71, handing the Knights their first loss of the season. “They came out and played at a really high level, and we didn’t match their intensity,” UCF coach Donnie Jones said. “They made shots, and that’s what you’ve got to do to upset teams.” Zamal Nixon also had 17 points for Houston (9-6, 1-1 Conference USA). Maurice McNeil scored 15 and Alandise Harris added 14. Keith Clanton and Tom Herzog each scored 13 points for UCF (14-1, 1-1). Leading scorer Marcus Jordan, son of former NBA great Michael Jordan, was held to 10.

Strong shooting and pressure defense gave Houston control from the start as Van Slyke led the Cougars to a 22-8 lead. On the other end, Jordan, averaging 16.7 points per game, missed his first five field goal attempts, and frustration mounted. Jordan tangled for a loose ball with Houston’s Darian Thibodeaux midway through the first half and both players had to be restrained by their teammates. In the first half the Knights shot only 5 of 22 from the field, including 1 of 6 from beyond the 3-point arc. Houston, meanwhile, was 14 of 29 from the floor and 5 of 8 on 3s. As a result, the Cougars had a 36-21 lead at halftime. The Knights returned from the locker room with more intensity on defense. Houston’s lead dwindled at the start of the second half when UCF pulled within five with 13:24 remaining. “In those first five minutes of the second half, we knew they’d respond,” Dickey said. Making matters worse for Houston, Van Slyke got into foul trouble and went to the bench for most of the second half. He received a standing ovation when he returned with 3 minutes left, but moments later fouled out. “I was concerned about our foul trouble throughout the game,”

Dickey said. “But our players have got to learn to adjust to the officiating.” A fast-break dunk by McNeil gave the Cougars an 11-point lead with 3:16 remaining, sending the crowd into a frenzy. UCF pulled within three with 9 seconds remaining, but Houston held on. “We kind of made it too exciting there at the end,” Dickey said. “But we hit some big free throws, and I’m happy with the win.” Dickey said his team was very encouraged by the crowd of 3,458 and thought it became an intimidation factor for the Knights. “When we’re at home, I want our players to expect to win,” Dickey said. “This is a special place with a lot of tradition and history.” While Dickey praised his team’s ball movement, Jones said the opposite about his UCF team. The Knights had a season-low six assists and finished 15 of 40 from the field, including 1 of 9 from beyond the 3-point arc. “We’ve got to learn from this, and I think we will,” Jones said. A.J. Rompza also had 10 points for the Knights.


Bob Levey Associated Press Central Florida guard Marcus Jordan (5) drives to the basket between Houston’s Kirk Van Slyke (32) and Zamal Nixon (2) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011 in Houston.

Stevens’ hard work pays off

File Photo The Famuan Sophomore Amin Stevens averages 12.9 points, 7.2 rebounds per game after the season’s first three games.

FRANK PETERMAN STAFF WRITER Amin Stevens is the starting small forward and leading scorer of the Florida A&M men’s basketball team. Stevens is a six foot six inch

sophomore from Roswell, Ga. Stevens attended Mt. Vernon Presbyterian high school, earning class 3A all state honors in his senior season. Stevens is only in his second year with the team, but has already become one of the leaders in the locker

room as well as on the court. Stevens was used in more of a reserve roll last season and played 10.5 minutes less. His averages have increased from 5.7 points to 12.9 Points per game. He has also increased his averages in blocks per game, steals per game, assist per game, field goal percentage and free throw percentage. Stevens worked out diligently over the summer to improve his game. He got in the weight room and spent the summer between Tallahassee and Atlanta playing basketball. He played against overseas players as well as other professional basketball players. Playing against superior competition helped Stevens prepare himself for the rigors of a new season. Stevens has taken a much larger role on the team this season as it’s premier scorer. Stevens started his scoring tear in the home opener with 25 points and has not slowed down since. He has doubled his production this year in scoring and rebounding, but still believes there is another level he can get to. “I feel like I have been working hard and playing hard but not my best,” Stevens said. “I can play better than the level I have

been playing at lately.” Stevens’ size allows him to play multiple positions. His versatility and long range shooting are key components to his game. Stevens can score from the perimeter as well as in close, but he gets many of his points off offensive rebounds. “I know a lot of my scoring comes from offensive rebounds so I crash the boards,” Stevens said. “I believe I’m also effective because I’m versatile offensively and have good size.” Stevens is one of 7 returning players from last year’s team and has proven his worth to the team this season. He also has been one of the team’s best rebounders averaging 7.2 rebounds per game. Stevens had one of his better showing in his last game, scoring 19 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in a loss to North Carolina A&T. This was his second double double of the season. With Stevens’ hard work being the catalyst for the team’s success, Florida A&M could have a new star in the making.


Undermanned Rattlers lose 82-72

Shorthanded Rattlers lose to North Carolina A&T Aggies

FRANK PETERMAN STAFF WRITER The Florida A&M men’s basketball team suffered it’s fourth consecutive loss Saturday, falling to the North Carolina A&T Aggies, 82-72. Freshman guard Avery Moore scored 23 points off the bench. Amin Stevens, a sophomore guard/forward from Roswell, Ga recorded his second double double of the season with 19 points and 13 rebounds. The team was five players short on Saturday and only played with eight players. Three of the five players that did not travel were hurt and

two were ineligible. Of those 5 players, two were starters. Rasheen Jenkins, from Bronx, Ny. and senior guard Christopher Walker from Selma, Ala., did not travel with the team because of injury. Stevens believed that even with the list of injured players, the team could have played better defense. “We did our best we could with our eight, but we still let them score too much,” Stevens said. The team struggled on offense and defense without their other players. The team shot 39 percent from the field and struggled with ball

movement getting 7 total assists for the game. The leading scorer, Avery Moore, shot 33 percent from the field. They also finished with 18 turnovers for the game. The team held their own on the boards out-rebounding the Aggies 38-31. North Carolina A&T shot 83.9 percent from the free throw line and hit eight shots from three point range. The Aggies turned up their intensity in the second half and out scored the Rattlers 48-38. The team also struggled with foul trouble and finished the game with 27. Yannick Crowder, Jeffrey Kennings

and Larry Jackson all fouled out of the game. North Carolina A&T was a Mid- Eastern Atlantic Conference opponent and this loss gives The Rattlers a record of 0-2 in the conference. With the loss the team sits in eighth place out of 11 teams. The Rattlers now have a record of 5-9 and play their next game Monday against Norfolk State. The team might be shorthanded again because it still has injured and ineligible players.

Track team stays focused after holidays ROYAL SHEPHERD STAFF EDITOR Florida A&M University’s women’s track team didn’t allow the Christmas break to affect their performance in the Tennessee State University Ed Temple Classic in Nashville, Tenn. Women’s head coach Darlene Moore praised her athlete’s efforts considering all the reasons they had to make excuses. “The athletes performed well coming off a three-week break,” Moore said. “Even though they are coming off a hectic week with registration for classes and things of that nature, the athletes persevered.” The Rattlers dominated individual as well as team events. The team gathered multiple top-10 finishes in both types of races. Ariel Allen finished first in the 800 meter run with a time of 2:20.64. Teammate Nichola Listhrop finished the event in third place, while Clarricia Golden finished 9th. Nakia Linson finished eighth in the 55-meter dash at 7.32 seconds. Teammate Richena Louis finished 10th. Linson and Louis also finished 4th and 8th, respectively, in the 200-meter dash with times of 25.8 and 26.1 seconds. Latoya Wright placed third in the 55-meter hurdles coming in at 8.59 seconds. Cynia Clark launched her way into a third place finish for shot put with 11.39 meters. The 4x400 meter relay team blazed the track to a first place finish. Coach Moore believes this may become a trend for the rest of the season. “400 and 800 meters are two of the stronger areas that we have,” Moore said. “We have 10 ladies who are all capable of running strong 400s. I wasn’t surprised at all when our A-Team went out there and won.” Although the team placed well at the event, Moore wants this to be seen as a steppingstone to greater achievements for her team. “We’re off this weekend, but we are back in action against Middle Tennessee,” she said. “They had strong representation at this meet, so we need to build on these performances to get us closer to our goals for the indoor championships.”




Wednesday Monday Lifestyles Sports | 12 Keenan Doanes The Famuan For the first time in its history, James S. Rickards High School earned a gr...